Gert Becomes 2nd Hurricane of 2017 Atlantic Season

The Atlantic’s 7th Storm Becomes the Latest Hurricane

Now that we have reached the midpoint of August, things are beginning to show signs of picking up in the Atlantic. Finally, Invest 99L got its act together over the past couple of days to not only become the season’s eighth named storm, but also the second hurricane of the year.

Gert is a name that is not a stranger to the annual Atlantic storm names list. The 2017 season marks the fifth time that a storm has been given such a name. The strongest of the previous iterations of Gert was in 1999, which reached a peak intensity of 930 millibars, or Category Four on the Saffir-Simpson Scale. This year’s version of Gert is not likely to reach that intensity, nor is it expected to impact any land masses.

As of the 11:00 AM advisory from the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida, Hurricane Gert, was located some 420 miles to the west of Bermuda in the Western Atlantic. The storm has begun to make its turn to the northeast as it moves to the North-Northeast at 10 miles per hour. Maximum sustained winds are at minimal hurricane force at 75 miles per hour. Minimum central pressure have dipped just below minimal hurricane category at 986 millibars, or 29.12 inches of Hg.

Hurricane force winds extend 25 miles from the eye of the system and tropical storm winds reach out some 105 miles. While the hurricane doesn’t pose a threat to land, swells generated from the storm churning away will gradually affect the East Coast of the United States from the Outer Banks of North Carolina to as far north as Long Island. These swells are expected to produce dangerous surf and rip currents. Deaths from drowning at the Jersey Shore have been on the rise, and not necessarily because of these dangerous rip tides, but because a lack of swimming skills according to a recent article from the web site yesterday.

Looking at the latest forecast discussion from the NHC, the intensity forecast is calling for Gert to strengthen a bit more over the next 36 hours with its peak winds climbing up to 75 knots or 85 miles per hour. Northerly shear that impacted the system during the overnight hours appears to be abating for now. The decreasing shear should provide a window of strengthening. Shortly afterward, Gert should begin to weaken as it moves into more cooler waters and shear picks up again by the end of 48 hours. Gert is expected to become extratropical within 3 to 4 days.